Can religion really satisfy human needs? Hasn’t it been the product of disorder and strife more often than not?
Religious organizations are run by human beings. Not everything they do should be described in the same terms as religion itself. One concerns the efforts of this world; the other, the teachings of an Ideal Realm. This is a main reason why religion recurs through history: to lessen the gap as humanity slowly matures.
The measure of genuine unity and virtue which can result from religion – despite the paucity of its resources and resistance from society – is not achievable by minds alone. It’s easy to rally a group of fanatics around a prophecy; but fanatics are notorious for their hatred of outsiders. True religion engenders unity not only within a group, but toward those outside it as well.
Religion should make of man a perfected being: upright, noble, renowned in virtue. He should become a lover of humanity – both the righteous and the rebellious – and behave as a servant and friend to all. Whether in peace or war, he finds contentment in the Will of God, and acts as a symbol of the Divine promise to all who encounter him.
When a person takes on these attributes, he finds the “fulfillment” the soul is longing for. Throughout history, people have sought it in wealth, fame, power, etc., but there is always something missing, as though we were “meant for something more”. Is Alexander the Great remembered for his joy at conquering the world? Or didn’t he weep when he realized there were no more rulers to overcome?
There is a real thirst in the soul, a hunger for things not of this world. I believe religion contains the blueprint to finding this Water and Bread of Life, but it’s not about simply assenting to what others have believed. Let the inaudible voice of the soul serve as a guide. Examine every idea with an eye to what satisfies your innermost longing.
If God has provided us with the means to find Him, we will if we are sincere; if He hasn’t, how can we be blamed if we fail?